Jon Gruden has a pretty shocking idea for how the NFL should fix the replay review system
The Raiders coach wants to get rid of replay completely!
There is not any sort of remote consensus around the NFL when it comes to replay and reviews. No one has a definite answer for the best way the NFL can approach handling issues like the pass interference penalty the Saints did not get called in the NFC Championship Game, but everyone agrees there needs to be some kind of fix.
Jon Gruden's got a pretty wild idea: get rid of it completely. The Raiders coach, speaking at the 2019 NFL combine, declined to really expand on his full belief, but he said he would prefer there is no replay whatsoever.
"I don't have any interest in expanding replay," Gruden said, via Patriots.com, apparently with a scowl. "I have strong interest in eliminating replay, but that's a story for another day."
I don't hate this idea either. It would be a total disaster, because there would be a billion incorrect calls and you would be putting the fate of every single game in the overwhelmed and sometimes incapable hands of the NFL's refs. There's just too much going on at any given time for these guys to really lock in on every single play.
The NFL officials do a good job, as Ravens coach John Harbaugh pointed out, they just can't possibly keep up with the ever-expanding requirements of the NFL rulebook.
"We've also put a lot of rules in place that've made it really tough on them," Harbaugh said. "They've got a lot on their plate. So let's add an official, let's add two officials, let's put one up in the box, let's expand replay if we want."
Again, this is what you get in the NFL. Some coaches are thrilled about the idea of expanding replay as much as possible. Bill Belichick's been beating the drum for maximizing replay technology forever. He wants cameras on every goal line and every sideline and wants to let the NFL's money do the work for the league.
This makes all the sense in the world. But there are guys on the other end of the spectrum, like Gruden, who want to see it all abolished. This divide exists in the real world too; you probably know someone who feels like replay is terrible because it's too overreaching and you probably know someone who thinks replay is terrible because it doesn't cover enough.
A borderline political split is just how this philosophical discussion on adjudicating NFL rules ends up going.
These coaches don't agree on much (outside of "the new CBA screwed us on practice time") and they're certainly not going to agree on the setup for replay moving forward. These opinions extend to management and ownership as well.
This is precisely why it's almost impossible to imagine a situation where the NFL goes into the offseason and seriously overhauls replay based on the outcome of the NFC Championship Game. The league appears willing to take more of a "let's hope it doesn't happen again" approach this offseason.
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